New cross bike, but with xc feel?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New cross bike, but with xc feel?

    Iím thinking wider drop bars, shallower too, and using those shimano levers on the flats. Then, maybe force AXS shifting, with the extra buttons too so itís like riding a narrow flat bar xc bike? Would that be viable?
    ShortTravelMagazine.com - For the XC Mtb Enthusiast.

  2. #2
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    It's your bike, your money, sure its viable.
    I have a recent cross bike with dirt drops. I'm thinking of going even wider dirt drops and getting the shimano levers. Already have dropper post. It has Di2 but I prob wont bother with setting up extra shifters for the flats. With "monster cross" tires it basically feels like my XC bike, from '92. Actually with hydro discs and the dropper, its prob more "capable" than it!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortTravelMag View Post
    Iím thinking wider drop bars, shallower too, and using those shimano levers on the flats. Then, maybe force AXS shifting, with the extra buttons too so itís like riding a narrow flat bar xc bike? Would that be viable?
    Viable, sure, but what is your goal? CX racing, gravel, playing around, etc? It's going to be a crappy MTB and not a great CX bike. I went through a period of time where I wanted to race CX on a flat bar bike so put on a long stem, flat bars, flat levers on my CX bike....it didn't work that well.

    My opinion, if you wanna drop bar bike, get one and keep it the way it is...if you want a flat bar bike, get a MTB and throw on some file treads and a rigid carbon fork.....

    Those Shimano GRX levers (assuming that is what you are talking about) would probably be better for long distance touring in my mind for an extra hand position...

  4. #4
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    Uh, what?

    How about a Gravel bike? Pretty much what you're describing with cross top brake levers (which I think you can do with hydro's).

    Forget your weird shifting idea with an extra set of shifters on the center of the handlebars. If you build a drop bar bike, your hands will be on the hoods 99.5% of the time. That's where you will want to do your shifting from.

    For a wide, shallow drop, flared handlebar check out the Salsa Woodchipper. Though personally I much prefer the Cowchipper. There are LOTS of these types of handlebars available now.

    Alternately you can build a flat bar cross bike, which I currently own too, but like someone else asked 'What do you want to do with this bike' or what do you want out of it?
    SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  5. #5
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    I've got pretty wide drop bars on my bike with the extra cross levers on the top. I almost always ride on the flats, feels like a narrow xc bar to me and the bike handles great that way. I use the hoods for climbing , like you would if you had bar ends . I've ridden moderately tech. single track and its fine, the narrow tires are more of a concern than the bike handling.

  6. #6
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    just buy an Orbea hardtail and spec their rigid fork. the whole blending of dropbar bikes into vintage XC is silly to me.

  7. #7
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    You're missing the point. This is for Cross racing, not just tooling down the trail. I've done cross racing with my hardtail, and I didn't like it. The wide bars weren't great, and I stood out like a sore thumb. I want to use a cross bike, but ride it more like a flat bar bike. That's all I'm trying to do. Not having brakes on the flats might not be the greatest idea in a cross race, lots of starting and stopping. I guess I'll just give it a try. I'll try wider drops bars and the levers, and see how it feels. I'll just use some cheaper bars so I can cheaply try a different width if needed.
    ShortTravelMagazine.com - For the XC Mtb Enthusiast.

  8. #8
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    i am confuse.

    so you want drop bars with the brake levers exclusively on the tops of the bars?

    i guess, but you wont be able to trail brake into corners, and thus will lose time.

    for bars, try the Zipp XPLR bars out. i really really like them. very natural feeling drop bars. not TOO much flare but easy on the wrists. shallow drops encourage not riding in the hoods all the time.

  9. #9
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    not exclusively, both, the regular lever/shifters as on any modern drop bar bike, and the extra shimano levers for brakes on the flats. Shallow drops would be a great idea too. I'll check out those bars.
    ShortTravelMagazine.com - For the XC Mtb Enthusiast.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortTravelMag View Post
    not exclusively, both, the regular lever/shifters as on any modern drop bar bike, and the extra shimano levers for brakes on the flats. Shallow drops would be a great idea too. I'll check out those bars.
    ahh. you'll get heckled pretty bad for running cheater brakes in Cross


    i'd say there's zero benefit to them once you perfect your technique.

    i ride my Crux like an XC bike; shred all over the place with no probs. it's all setup, bar bend choice, and technique.

    sorry if that input doesn't get to the heart of the question, but that's my take.


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New cross bike, but with xc feel?-rrx6bay.jpg  


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryMatt View Post
    ahh. you'll get heckled pretty bad for running cheater brakes in Cross


    i'd say there's zero benefit to them once you perfect your technique.

    i ride my Crux like an XC bike; shred all over the place with no probs. it's all setup, bar bend choice, and technique.
    F hecklers, do what you want!
    I ride my cross on some pretty technical trails, some would be graded black diamond. The guys on 5" FS bikes are pretty impressed when they see me coming out of the trail they just did. I want to run the GRX aux levers for these, I already have a dropper but on those trails being in the drops brings weight precariously forward. Even with the improved pivot point of the GRX Di2 drop levers, braking from the hoods under these conditions is not good.

  12. #12
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    i guess? running in the drops provides a more rearward hand position than in the hoods. just run the stem a little higher than you normally would.

    cheater brakes allow you to get back farther, yes, but unless youre running superwide bars a la salsa cowchipper, your hands are going to be pretty close together, which means less control.

    i guess you could run the cheater brakes wayyyy out NEXT to the hoods...
    who knows, maybe in 3 years everyone with a bar bag and a dropper post will be doing that. i'm out on that tho. you're better off on a rigid hardtail at that point.






    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New cross bike, but with xc feel?-shimano-grx-gravel-drivetrain-components-img_9853-cxmagazine-ay_2.jpg  

    New cross bike, but with xc feel?-st-rx815-r_c219_203.jpg  

    New cross bike, but with xc feel?-840c0d7d65aca94f47bb1e0f307b5c2e.jpg  


  13. #13
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    This isn't just for cross racing though, it's for just all around gravel type stuff, whatever else comes up. I've tried regular road bars/levers many times, and I just don't like the position my hand is in for braking hard. I really would like both options.
    ShortTravelMagazine.com - For the XC Mtb Enthusiast.

  14. #14
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    New cross bike, but with xc feel?-curve-walmer-bars_9-2000x1333.jpg

    Curve Walmer

    https://bikepacking.com/index/gravel-bars/


    I really wanted my Ripmo to work in XC racing. I gave up and bought a Supercaliber. 1st world things.

  15. #15
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    yowzers! those are wide! I actually bought in the 90's a pair of "bar ends" that are just the curved drops that bolt on to the end of a xc flat bar. If I taped them they'd look pretty much like real drop bars. That's what the Walmer reminds me of.

    I'm going to have to experiment a bit I guess.
    ShortTravelMagazine.com - For the XC Mtb Enthusiast.

  16. #16
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    people are getting crazy with gravel bikes no doubt about it. wild west..in alot of ways the genre really is like the advent of MTBs all over again. anything goes just about.

  17. #17
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    if you run GRX DI2, the top of the hood has a button for shifting. also if you want the sub levers for hydro you will have to run shimano brifters as they wont work with DOT fluid that the SRAM brakes use. one other thing is the sub levers need to use the 31.8mm part of the bar so even super wide bars or ergo bars will limit where you can place them. i had them on my bike but removed them. i just never really used them much and they made it very difficult to run a computer or lights.

  18. #18
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    Variety is the spice of life!
    I have a 160/140mm travel FS that i ride the same trails with. Yes its easier and faster and fun. But taking the cross bike is fun too, and challenging! It takes me back to my formative mtb days.
    Im currently running Cowchippers with GRX Di2, but am thinking of going wider Shimano Pro gravel bars with the auxiliary levers. The Shimanos are supposed to have a longer clamp area for the levers.

  19. #19
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    I wouldn't worry about the hecklers, especially when hands on the flats , weight neutral to back you are able to ride through the sand[ I know the Belgiums do no matter what , but they are Belgiums] vs walking or endo'ing. You have to be comfortable and confident on you cross bike cause the skinny tires are only doing so much for you.

  20. #20
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    I dont mean to be argumentative but hands on tops at speed in the sand is a different kettle of fish than navigating a mixed steep-grade descent.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryMatt View Post
    I dont mean to be argumentative but hands on tops at speed in the sand is a different kettle of fish than navigating a mixed steep-grade descent.
    I'm going yes/no on that. In sand the tendency is to go over the bars do to the front end wallowing, hands on the tops allows the weight to be more rearward. On descents going over the bars is also a concern. I just feel more connected and weight over the rear wheel with my hands on the tops, as wide apart as possible and I have extra levers set up for this.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortTravelMag View Post
    Iím thinking wider drop bars, shallower too, and using those shimano levers on the flats. Then, maybe force AXS shifting, with the extra buttons too so itís like riding a narrow flat bar xc bike? Would that be viable?
    Why half-ass it? Just put flat bars & MTB drivetrain/brakes on a CX frame.

    My gravel race bike is an All City Nature Boy (SS) with wide flat bars & XT hydros.

    I also run aerobars. The only time I'm not in the aerobars is when I'm climbing or when it's sketchy. In both those situations, flat bars are superior to drops anyway - especially when grinding up a climb, torquing on the bars.

    I also run XT cranks. I prefer the Q-factor.

    It's your bike. Set it up how you like!

    Here's a link to mine, prior to installing the aerobars...

    https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/micke...-boy-853-33081

    Prior to building my Nature Boy, I threw a set of aerobars & gravel tires on my Kona Unit (also SS). That worked fine, too. And it had amazing clearance for mud!

  23. #23
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    ^^i gotta see a pic of this thing. as i mentioned above, it's itneresting to see what people are doing in the gravel world. link please.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPL65 View Post
    I'm going yes/no on that. In sand the tendency is to go over the bars do to the front end wallowing, hands on the tops allows the weight to be more rearward. On descents going over the bars is also a concern. I just feel more connected and weight over the rear wheel with my hands on the tops, as wide apart as possible and I have extra levers set up for this.

    i can't do that narrow hold and still be able to steer the bike. you have a stronger upper body than i got

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryMatt View Post
    ^^i gotta see a pic of this thing. as i mentioned above, it's itneresting to see what people are doing in the gravel world. link please.
    I provided a link, but it appears pedalroom is doing site maintenance. In the meantime, just Google "Mickey's Nature Boy 853". The pedalroom pics still show up in Google Images.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Mickstar View Post
    Why half-ass it? Just put flat bars & MTB drivetrain/brakes on a CX frame.
    I did that!

    My gravel race bike is an All City Nature Boy (SS) with wide flat bars & XT hydros.
    Nature Boy Disc here too, except I have mountain BB7's. (parts bin build)

    When I bought my NB 853 frame I made that the "race" bike and set my old one up with flat handlebars and a 9 speed XT 1x drivetrain. Works awesome. All it needs is a dropper post...

    Those frames ride so nice!
    SS 29er
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    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryMatt View Post
    i can't do that narrow hold and still be able to steer the bike. you have a stronger upper body than i got
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